10 tips for a more sustainable beach holiday

10 Tips for a more sustainable summer holiday 

Many of us have been making changes to be more sustainable at home, perhaps choosing products made from recycled plastic or with less packaging. But can we make our holidays more sustainable?

Try these ten eco friendly holiday tips to help you reduce your environmental footprint these holidays.

1.Collect rubbish

You may have heard the saying “take only photographs and leave only footprints” but what if every family who went to the beach removed a bag of rubbish while they were there? Get everyone involved in picking up any plastic or other rubbish they find during the day. We make a game of it and the person who collects the most gets off dishes duty that night. 

2.Use a marine safe sunscreen

Some chemicals commonly used in sunscreens can be toxic to marine life. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are two of them and some places such as Hawaii have already started to ban them in an effort to protect the environment. Our absolute favourite marine safe sunscreen is Goodby Ouch Sun Balm. It’s made in New Zealand, ultra-concentrated, antioxidant rich and completely water free so a little goes a long, long way! 

3.Limit carbon emissions

Simple steps like switching off lights, underfloor heating or heated towel rails adds up over the year. Whenever you can, dry laundry and beach towels naturally outside rather than using power hungry clothes driers and walk to the beach rather than driving if it’s a short distance.

4.Offset your carbon emissions 

Consider offsetting the carbon emissions of your holiday with carbon credits at New Zealand forests. If you choose to stay at One Fyfe Beach Bach we will offset your accommodation emissions for you! We believe we are the first certified carbon negative holiday house in New Zealand, offsetting 120% of the emissions from your stay with us. 

Even offsetting the impact of your road trip alone is a great step. Private transport is one of the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases, with emissions rising every year. 

In countries like the UK and the US, the transport sector is now responsible for emitting more greenhouse gases than any other, including electricity production and agriculture. Globally, transport accounts for around a quarter of CO2 emissions.

And much of the world’s transport networks still remain focused around the car. Road vehicles – cars, trucks, buses and motorbikes – account for nearly three quarters of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from transport.

You can offset the carbon emissions of your road trip via simple calculators at EKOS or Toitu. This could cost at little as $3 for a medium petrol car to drive from Auckland to Waihi Beach. 

5.Keep off sand dunes

Sand dunes are a big part of the landscape at our beaches. The dunes act as barriers preventing erosion of beaches, protecting beachfront structures, and provide a home for birds, insects. Walking or playing on sand dunes damages the beach grass and other plants that hold the dune together.

6.Be zero waste at the beach 

Avoiding individually wrapped products or single use plastic bottles and use heavy fabric bags that won’t blow away in the wind. Consider taking anything recyclable home rather than placing in council general waste bins at the beach. 

7.Choose an eco-friendly water sport 

Bodyboarding, surfing, kayaking, standup paddle boarding or kite surfing are all eco-friendly water sports. In addition to the noise pollution and carbon footprint that motorized activities generate, they also disturb marine wildlife. 


Some councils don’t offer kerbside recycling at our beach towns. Rather that putting everything in landfill waste bags, keep your recycling aside and drop it at the local recycling centre on your way home.

9.Shop local

Making an effort to buy from local producers is an easy way to make your trip more sustainable. By seeking out independent, locally owned businesses, you're ensuring the money you spend stays in the community you're visiting, rather than being siphoned off by big international corporations. Think local butchers, farmers markets and local craft shops.

10.Buy experiences, not things

Being away on holiday is the ideal time to make memories in place of buying more stuff. Support local businesses and keep the kids occupied by being a ‘tourist’ in your own country with excursions and other activities.

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